Földeák Summary

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Földeák
Summary
The history of Földeák can be divided into four clearly separated periods. The first one of about eight hundred years came to an end with the depopulation of the settlement (1686).
The excavations in this area over the last decades explored some relics from the age of Arpad. The archaeologists of the Móra Ferenc Museum in Szeged have been of a view on the basis of these relics that this village had its own church. The first written mention of Földeák was made in the XIV century.
The second chapter of the history of the village was a period from the re-settlement until the move over to a different place (1720–1846). The period of hardly four generations brought about some years of prosperity in the life of the settlement. During the short, hardly one hundred and twenty year period, Földeák became one of the dominant settlements of Csanád county both in terms of its population and economic strength. There was a ten-fold growth in the number of its population, and it became the third largest tax-paying settlement in the region.
The floods on the Tisza and Maros temporarily halted development, but the will-power and entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Földeák helped the settlement through the initial difficulties: Földeák moved over to a new protected place, and with time, the ancient settlement came to itself again. The period which lasted until the separation of the twin settlements – Földeák and Óföldeák – (1950), coincided with the economic upswing in the country. The village further strengthened its position in the county by laying new foundations for agricultural production, and the application of the labour of newly settled tradesmen.
The last period of the history of the two villages, which has lasted until now started around the council elections in 1950. Földeák and Óföldeák became legally separated then. After 1970, the villages were put under the same council administration once again, but after the change of the political system, and the local government elections in 1990, they embarked upon separate roads.
Földeák is one of the most unique settlements of the South-Eastern Plain from many different aspects. First of all, its national set-up is homogeneously Hungarian, which is unique in the region. The proportion of the non-Hungarian ethnic people has never reached two percent of its total population throughout its history. The few families who settled as new-comers later, became denationalised very quickly. Often, the parents themselves took on Hungarian names, and followed local traditions in Földeák. Their children nearly always received Hungarian Christian names. The influence of Makó and Szeged could be clearly traced in their national culture and traditions. The reason for this could be that after the devastation caused by the Turks (1686), the descendants of the people of Földeák, who escaped to the towns, moved back in the 1720-ies, and brought with themselves some habits developed during the time of about one generation. This was strengthened by the wave of immigrants into the settlement in the second half of the XIX century. The re-settled village started a dynamic development, and this attracted artisans and tradesmen from the vicinity, who came here in search for a better life.
Another unique moment in the history of Földek was the already mentioned settlement over: basically, the village became two twin-villages, one for those leaving, and one for those who stayed. The agreement that came into being between the Návay family and the population of the village can be considered as a special feature in Hungarian history. The responsible mentality of the owners of the land could be clearly seen during the lasting crisis situations following the devastation of the re-current floods. Károly Návay and Tamás Návay gave their consent to the move of their serfs to provide them with better and safer living conditions, which was significantly detrimental for them from a financial point of view.
The people of Földeák can be characterised by religious faith and a high level of tolerance. The originally Catholic village accommodated Reformed and Nazarene settlers in the last third of the XIX century without any reservations. This unshakeable faith was often appreciated by the bishopric in Csanád sending its most excellent priests to serve the village. Pál Oltványi, vicar, chamberlain to the pope, played an outstanding role among the religious leaders of the village. Being a highly educated, and generously devoted person, his role was dominating in the life of Földeák, afflicted by the worries of moving. The peasants of Földeák became famous for their clinging adherence to their land. It sometimes happened that they carried out some infringements due to this adherence. A good example for this was their behaviour during the separation of part of the pasture (1838–1845). A few of the locals could not tolerate the arrangement by which part of the pasture of the village, which was a legal due of the Návay family, was cut out from the common land. According to the legal documents, they first tried to exclude their lords from this allotment, and when they failed at this attempt, they were not even deterred from physically assaulting the county officials who were fulfilling their duty to measure the land.
Their adherence to land did not change at all during the following century. In January 1951 – after all the landowners signed the entrance declaration, both Földeák and Óföldeák were ceremoniously declared to be co-operative settlements. This event received a loud press publicity, it was reported on the front pages of regional and national daily papers. The peasants, with their several hundred year history of farming, however, soon realised that common ownership could not really ensure one responsible master, and during the following five years, almost forty percent of the co-operative members decided to exit.
We may not complete our work without remembering the Návay family. The history of the family is intertwined with the modern history of the village. In spite of smaller conflicts, the progressive Návay family quickly realised that the development and economic growth of the village coincided with their own interests even if sometimes, this demanded serious sacrifices from them. The people living in Földeák and Óföldeák still think about them with respect: they pay their tribute of respect by placing flowers on their tombs in Földeák every year.

 

 

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